Saturday, May 21, 2016

Blog Sale (Bite Beauty, Urban Decay, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Lipstick Queen, and more)

NOTE: I'm traveling for the next few days with only intermittent internet access, so please excuse me if I take some extra time to respond to emails or to update this post with what has been requested. Thanks!

I am going to be moving (yet again) in a couple of months so I want to clear out a few things that are otherwise good, but that I just don't use.

CONDITION: As pictured and noted--some brand new, some lightly used. If you want more information, please ask. I will wipe off the packaging with alcohol before I send things, but I won't sanitize the products themselves unless you ask. I don't want to affect the condition of the makeup by doing that--I leave it up to you to use your preferred method. Original box included when pictured.

PRICING: I have priced things by taking into account the price when new and amount of use. No negotiation, please. The prices are very low already, because I want to get these things off my hands.

SHIPPING: Most things can only be shipped within the U.S., but if you want to make an international order, get in touch with me. Shipping costs will probably be very high outside of the U.S. Domestic shipping is $4 for the first three items and $0.50 for each additional item (including free items). I pack things carefully, but I'm not responsible for any damage that occurs once I've handed the items over to the post office. Orders are shipped by USPS (often Priority). I will mail things in batches 1-2 times a week (since I don't live near a post office).

RESERVING/PAYING FOR ITEMS: Email me at brutalhonestbeauty AT gmail DOT com with "blog sale" in the subject and the names of each of the items you want in the message. I will reserve items for the first person who contacts me, and you have 48 hours to pay via PayPal using the information I send in my email reply. If I haven't received payment in 48 hours, I will release the item to the next person who requests it. I accept PayPal only.

RETURNS: No returns, so please ask questions and google for reviews before purchasing.

Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow single in Delicate Hummingbird (used 3-4 times): $9 SOLD

Urban Decay eyeshadow single in Mildew (old packaging, used 4-5 times): $4 SOLD

Urban Decay Dangerous Palette (each shade used 3-5 times): $6

Bareminerals The Magic Act Eye and Cheek palette (each shade used 1-4 times): $10

MUA (UK) Dusk til Dawn palette (each shade used 2-5 times): $4

MUA (UK) Heaven and Earth palette (each shade used 3-7 times): $4

NOTE: Plastic lids have some scratches and scuffs.

Tarina Tarantino eyeliner in Cute Robot (brand new/never used): $4

Stila Smudge Crayon in Kitten (used 3-4 times): $3 SOLD

Ardency Inn Punker Smoky Shadow Crayon (used twice) in Black Smoke: $4

Lipstick Queen Jean Queen (used 4-5 times): $9 SOLD

Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry (used 3-4 times): $2 SOLD

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate (brand new/never used): $9 SOLD

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (mini, brand new/never used): $4

Bite Beauty Line and Define Lip Primer (mini, used 4-5 times): $3

Mini OCC Lip Tar set with Pris, Primer, and Trollop (without brush, each used 1-2 times): $3

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in Heartfelt (used 5-6 times): $5

Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint in Level 1 (used 3-4 times): $4 PENDING

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (mini, brand new/never used): $3

Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Fair (used 4-5 times): $3 PENDING

Paula's Choice Blush It On Contour Palette (each shade used 2-6 times): $4 PENDING

Free with any other purchase (regular shipping costs apply; some packaging is scratched or scuffed):

Wet N Wild eyeshadow trio in Sweet as Candy (used about 6 times--"Browbone" shade more than the rest)
Wet N Wild eyeshadow trio in Cool as a Cucumber (used 3-4 times)
4 Hard Candy mini baked eyeshadows in metallic neutrals (used 3-4 times)
Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder in Earth (rose gold) (used 2-3 times)
e.l.f. Smudge Pot in Cruisin' Chic (used 3-4 times)
LAQA Lip Lube in Honeypot (used 2-3 times)
Twist and Pout lipgloss keychain with peacock design, pink pearly gloss (brand new/never used)
4 e.l.f. mineral pigments in Sassy, Celebrity, Angelic, and Earth (take the whole set; used 3-5 times each)
Burt's Bees Beeswax lip balm (brand new/never used) PENDING

City Color Be Matte blush in Fresh Melon (used 3-5 times): free with any purchase PENDING

Friday, May 20, 2016

BECCA and NUXE are on HauteLook today, fyi

HauteLook has deals on Becca makeup and Nuxe skincare today, both of which have several things for about 50% off. I've actually never tried anything from Becca. I mostly hear about their highlighters, which are not, of course, included in the sale. But I would like a low maintenance base product and I'm wondering if their Radiant Skin Satin Finish foundation might work for me. Have you tried it? I have also been curious about that cult Nuxe lip balm, but I already have many balms, so I probably shouldn't.

There are still other sales up on the site like Club Clio and Peripera (Korean beauty brands), Origins, and Lord & Berry.

If you're new to HauteLook, it's owned by Nordstrom, and I have placed many orders with them with no problems, other than long waits. You can expect to wait 2-4 weeks to receive your order. Shipping for beauty products is about $6, so fact that into the deal or order more than one product.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Reminder: Essential oils are "toxic chemicals"

Some essential oils can be effective in skincare. I especially like tea tree oil for acne spot treating (more here). But just because these substances seem more "natural" does not mean that they are gentler, safer, or less toxic than "unnatural" chemicals. The increasing use of essential oils recently has resulted in increasing household poisoning by essential oils. As this article points out:
Highly toxic essential oils include camphor, clove, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, and wintergreen oils, the researchers noted. Many essential oils can cause symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations and seizures. Symptoms may also include chemical burns, breathing problems, liver failure and brain swelling, among others. 
While there are hundreds of essential oils, "tea tree oil is commonly cited, and most of those cases are accidental ingestions by children," Loden said.
So store your essential oils securely, and don't assume that your products containing these ingredients will be non-toxic to your kids or pets.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Choix high-end cosmetics sampling subscription: Review of my first two months

Disclosure: Referral and affiliate links.
Choix makeup sampling subscription: Review of my first two months

I signed up for a new (to me) beauty subscription service called Choix a couple of months ago, so I thought I would post a review. This is a subscription that allows you to choose five high-end products a month, and they create small samples of them for you.

I bought my subscription kind of impulsively, but while I was briefly researching the service, I didn't find a lot of reviews from people who hadn't been given the boxes by the company. Most of the time I think reasonable people can give objective reviews of products they received for free, but in this case, when considering whether or not the service is worth the cost, I think it makes a difference if you're paying for it yourself. Up front, I will say that for me it's worth $10 a month, because I bought a discounted annual subscription for $120. But $20 a month, the regular price, would be too much. Nevertheless, I can see why Choix might cost more than other subscription boxes like Birchbox or Ipsy, even though the sample sizes are fairly small. Instead of getting most of the products for free from the brands and then just sticking them in a box, Choix is (I assume) buying products to sample, and then there is the equipment and packaging costs required to create the samples, as well as the labor involved.

I suspect most people will either think that it's ridiculous to pay money for small samples of products, many of which you could get for free at Sephora or a department store, or will think it's a brilliant idea. Either that or you will be like me and start out with the first view and eventually move closer to the second. In fact, a lot of the products you can request couldn't easily be taken home as samples from stores, like the powder products, for instance. In addition, you may live far from a mall and not have much opportunity to even swatch products on a regular basis (like me). Of course, you can only try out the actual product--you won't get a sense of the packaging from these samples. That is totally fine with me, because I prefer to avoid being seduced by a pretty tube or compact. It makes it easier to filter out the bullshit--I don't care much about my makeup being luxurious. I want it to be functional. Another part of the appeal for me, due to my bizarre interests, I suppose, is to be able to compare high-end stuff with my usual products, which tend to be drugstore or mid-end (that's not a word!). Both to avoid buying dupes, and also just because I'm curious.

The range of brands available from Choix is a bit limited now (you can see the list on their site under "Shop"). The majority are designer brands--i.e. makeup branded with the name of a fashion house or designer, but there are some others like Nars, Hourglass, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, and Benefit. I hope they will eventually add more brands that I would put in the same category as Benefit, like Urban Decay, Tarte, or Too Faced.

Here's what the shipping box looks like when you first open it:

Choix makeup sampling subscription: Review of my first two months

And here at the contents of my April box:

Choix makeup sampling subscription: Review of my first two months
The bits of white fuzz come from the packing material. They are impossible to remove for a pretty picture, but they don't get into the products.
For the first month I chose Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Nars blush in Orgasm, Nars Audacious Lipstick in Audrey, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, and Guerlain Meteorites Pears in 2 Clair. Not a lot of variety really--three Nars products and two finishing powders--but these are things I've been curious about for a while.

(I'll add a cut here, because this is going to be a long post. I'm going to review the subscription as a concept as well as (briefly) the individual products from my first two boxes. Lots of photos!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

A possible dupe for the discontinued Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer? Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer

Disclosure: Affiliate links.
Comparison of Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer and Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer
When I found out that Wet N Wild was discontinuing their Fergie line, my first thought was BUT WHAT ABOUT THE EYESHADOW PRIMER? It's been my favorite for a few years now, and in all my tests it performs as well as or better than all the more expensive options I've tried: Urban Decay, Too Faced, and LORAC here, and Nars here. So despite still having half a very worn-out tube--i.e. at least 6 months' worth--of the Fergie stuff left, I panicked and bought a tube of Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer. (This was in the short period after the Fergie stuff has disappeared but before the new Wet N Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer had appeared.) Black Radiance is owned by the same company as Wet N Wild, and so the packaging of their products is very similar, along with the price point. The ingredients of the Black Radiance primer and the Wet N Wild Fergie primer are also similar, though not identical.

Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer:

Isododecane, Talc, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, CyclopentaSiloxane, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, VP, Eicosene Copolymer, Synthetic Beeswax, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Boron Nitride, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Bisabolol, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Capric Triglyceride, Caprylic, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Carbonate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Stamen Extract, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer:

Isododecane, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyethylene, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Boron Nitride, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Propylene Carbonate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Synthetic Beeswax, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Carbonate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Bisabolol, Sorbic Acid, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Dimethiconol, Nelumbo Nucifera Stamen Extract, Bismuth Oxychloride/Ci 77163, Iron Oxides/Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499, Titanium Dioxide/Ci 77891 0812.

Note that there was also, I think, a pink, shimmery Fergie primer, but this is for the translucent beige version, called "For My Primas." (Yep.)

The things I'm looking for in an eyeshadow primer are as follows, in order of importance: prevents creasing on my extremely oily eyelids, intensifies pigment, and prevents fading. Ideally it will also provide a smoother surface for applying eyeshadow, but I can work around that.

So first, here is a comparison of how these two primers work to intensify eyeshadow, using a terrible CoverGirl eyeshadow single that I keep around at this point just to test primers. On the left there is a swatch with no primer, in the middle over the Black Radiance primer, and on the right over the Wet N Wild Fergie Primer.

Comparison swatches of Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer and Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer

I think the Black Radiance swatch looks slightly more intense here, but it may just be the angle. They looked about the same in person. You can see a slight whitish halo around the edges of the Fergie swatch. I'd read people who complained that the Fergie primer was too light and showed up as chalky on their eyelids. Because light beige things tend to blend in with my skin, it can be hard to tell if they are translucent or just pale, so I swatched the two primers over a black eyeliner (Urban Decay Zero): Black Radiance at the top, and Fergie on the bottom.

Comparison swatches of Black Radiance Eyeshadow Primer and Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer

I used the same amount of each product, so you can clearly see that the Fergie stuff has more light pigment in it. The Black Radiance primer is also a little thicker, though, so it picked up a bit of the eyeliner when I swiped it. I haven't noticed that this difference in thickness makes it any more difficult to apply to the eyelid, by the way.

So I'd call them even in terms of intensifying eyeshadow, but the pigmentation of the two might make a difference for you: if you have light skin and prefer a translucent beige primer to even out the color of your lids, you won't get that from the Black Radiance primer--which makes sense, since this is a brand designed for black women. Personally, I am happy with the more translucent primer, because I will just use a beige eyeshadow if I want to. It's more versatile.

As for the other factors in performance, creasing and fading, the Black Radiance primer is amazing at preventing creasing. Even on my sweatiest and oiliest days, if I use this, my eyeshadow does not fucking crease at all. Most of the time the Fergie stuff doesn't crease either, but sometimes with cream eyeshadows, at the end of a long day I'll notice some mild creasing. Probably only I can see it when I wink at the mirror from 6 inches away, but still. The Black Radiance is that tiny bit more effective.

On the other hand, my eyeshadow does seem to fade more using the Black Radiance primer than the Fergie primer. The Fergie stuff keeps it at the same intensity pretty much all day, while it looks a little lackluster after a day of wear over the Black Radiance stuff.

For that last reason, the Black Radiance primer isn't a perfect replacement for the Fergie primer, but it's an excellent alternative, if you can find it. This brand is, unfortunately, not available everywhere. My local Walmart sells Black Radiance products, but not all of them do. I bought this tube from it's only $4, slightly less than the $5 Wet N Wild option.

I've heard conflicting reports of the new Wet N Wild Photo Focus primer. Supposedly it has the same ingredients as the Fergie one, and the packaging looks a lot alike, but some people report that it doesn't work as well. Others say that it is, in fact, identical. I'll probably pick up a tube when I am running low on the Fergie stuff to compare them. In the meantime, if you are desperate for another tube of the Fergie primer, you can get it for $13 on Amazon--still cheaper than Urban Decay etc.!

Have you tried the new Wet N Wild primer? I'm curious what the consensus is--if it has the same ingredients list as the old one, it should work the same, right?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Would you buy a $70 concealer? (Review of Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige)

Disclosure: Affiliate links.
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige

A couple months ago, Clé de Peau Beauté offered a free sample online of their cult favorite concealer, which came with a very nice brush. Look at that translucent indigo handle! (If you prefer to look at the untouched, unsmudged sample, here it is on my Instagram.) It's a very nice freebie. I don't think I ever managed to post this offer on my blog here, because it went out of stock very quickly.

But the fun thing is that it gives me a chance to review something I would never, ever have purchased--a stick concealer that sells for $70. Two caveats to my review here: first, the shade they sent is the second lightest in the very limited range, Beige (see all the shades swatched here), and it's a bit too dark for me, as you can see in my swatches below; and second, since this is a sample, I obviously can't comment on the packaging or anything like that.

Here are comparison swatches with some other concealers I had on hand. From left to right, we have Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige, Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Fondant, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, and LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Classic Ivory (reviews of those last two forthcoming!).

Swatches of Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige, Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Fondant, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, and LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Classic Ivory

Nevertheless, I don't consider these two things (shade, packaging) to be major impediments to a decent review, because slightly darker, peachy shades of concealer work pretty well under my eyes, at least if I'm going for a natural look. If I pick a pale shade that matches the edges of my face and use it to completely blank out my under-eye area, it creates a more polished and slightly artificial look. (Almost?) no one has bright, completely shadow-free skin below their eyes. That's good for photos but sometimes a bit more than what I want for normal everyday makeup. Also, I don't really give a fuck about the packaging. Sure, if the packaging were terrible I would be annoyed at paying $70 for it, but if the packaging were amazing and the product itself shitty, that would be much worse. I really only care about the concealer itself. And people have indeed suggested that, okay maybe this stuff is super expensive but it's totally worth it. JUST TRY IT YOU'LL SEE.

Is it? Here are my results, left side with no makeup (except filled-in brows) and right side with just Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige. You can see that the color, which looked much too dark on my arm, blends in pretty well on my face.

Slightly cross-eyed from staring into the sun while taking this photo.
I'd read tips saying that the best way to apply solid concealers like this one is to apply them to the back of your hand so that your body heat can warm them up a little and then spread them from there to your face with fingers or a brush. That does, indeed, seem to work best. Otherwise it's a bit stiff. The texture is nice and skin-like. It is quite pigmented, so that you can get good coverage with only a small amount of product. That said, if I want completely opaque coverage, I do have to layer it a little, and that tends not to work great. The problem with this stuff is that it creases, and the more I use, the more it creases. I haven't been able to do anything to prevent that (moisturizing or not, using different application techniques, primer, etc.), and it's one of my biggest annoyances with concealer. Most products crease on me, but if I had paid $70 for it, I would really not be impressed. Here is a photo of it about 20 minutes after application, after it had creased once and I had patted it down to smooth out the creasing and added some powder. It creased again. It continues to do that throughout the day, and the texture and opacity become less flawless.

So in the end, it's a good concealer in terms of coverage and texture. Since I only need to use a very small amount, one stick would probably last me years. But since it creases, I would never consider spending $70 on it--or even half that. My Sephora serum concealer (reviewed here) is still my favorite. It's slightly creasy, but it can be built up to increase the opacity without any problems, and the creasing tends not to recur after I smooth it out during the first half hour or so of wear.

Anyone have a different experience with that stuff? What's your upper spending limit for experimenting with products that have cult reputations like this stuff?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Here is what is happening to the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks

Disclosure: Affiliate links.
Refinery 29 has a post all about the newly formulated and repacked lipsticks from Urban Decay, including 74 new shades in 6 finishes. They will launch in June. If you didn't like the flat/round shape of the Revolution lipsticks, you might like the more traditional bullets in the new ones. They will also be slightly cheaper, at $17 each rather than $22.

If you were a big fan of the Revolution formula and are worried about the change, most shades are still available for 50% off ($11) on the Ulta website (regular, matte, and sheer). They seem to be all or mostly sold out from Sephora and Urban Decay's site. Ulta also has free shipping with a $35 purchase right now (no code), which makes it less painful to order form them. Plus there are three free minis that you can add to your order (via Nouveau Cheap): a Dr. Brandt mask, a BareMinerals mascara, and a Redken hair "cleanser." Just add them to your cart with the purchase of something else and they will be free.

ETA: Macy's has an even larger selection still in stock, if there's something you want that's missing from Ulta.

I had made up my mind that I didn't need any new lipsticks, but now that I know for sure these are going away, I am tempted again. I was thinking about Rapture, 69, and After Dark. Anyone have any opinions about those shades? Or others that are worthwhile?
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